Carry a Big Stick: A funny, fearless life of friendship, laughter and MS

Carry a Big Stick: A funny, fearless life of friendship, laughter and MS

Tim Ferguson

Language: English

Pages: 368


Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

A funny, poignant and inspirational story of widely acclaimed comedian, writer and producer, Tim Ferguson.

Tim Ferguson was a star of the international comedy circuit. Along with Paul McDermott and Richard Fidler he was part of the edgy, provocative and very funny Doug Anthony Allstars (DAAS). In 1994 they were at the height of their powers, performing in a season at the Criterion Theatre on Piccadilly Circus. The three mates, who began busking on the streets of Canberra a decade earlier, had achieved their ambition to become the self-styled rock stars of comedy.

Then, all of a sudden, Tim woke up one morning and his whole left side wouldn't work. He'd had a lurking suspicion that something was wrong and after more episodes he went to a doctor thinking he'd be told to change his diet and get more sleep. It wasn't so simple. An eventual diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS) meant an end to the frenetic, high-energy life he was living.

Carry a Big Stick is a chance for Tim to tell his story. He wants to make people laugh but also give inspiration to all the people doing it hard. A lot of people keep MS to themselves because it's invisible. In Tim's case, he has the stick. 'It's such a visible sign that something's happened; it's just easier if people know.'

Carry a Big Stick meanders through Tim's life, and explains how the boy who went to nine schools in 13 years got used to saying, 'Hi, I'm the new kid'. It will detail his ambitions to become an actor and how the Doug Anthony Allstars were born and went on to become what Rolling Stone called 'The 3 amigos from hell'. Diagnosis changed a lot of things but Tim's quick wit and sense of humour weren't affected. This inspiring memoir shows us that you can laugh in the face of adversity.

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citing Covent Garden as an icon of British culture. The next day London’s Evening Standard newspaper ran a photograph of us with the headline ‘Struth! The idea stinks like a dingo’s breath after a night out on the XXXX.’ We were outraged. Our eloquent comments had been reduced to jarring colloquialisms. The media had lied about us, so from that moment on we didn’t see the point in giving them accurate facts any longer. We threw down the gauntlet and never picked it up again. From that day

on a tiny little scroll that our art department had crafted. It went something along the lines of: I, Lenny, understand the risks I am taking in participating in this combat. I further understand I may kill or be killed during the event but I will be doing my best and hold no grudges against the Nine Network or its affiliates. The Man-vs-Fly gladiators began their battle. The crowd roared for Lenny. The plucky fly put up a decent fight, buzzing about with skill and daring. For a moment I

and I invented a segment named ‘Blow Up the Bomb’. We didn’t do things by halves on the show and we weren’t about to start now so we rented a Sherman tank. I requested Aaron Beaucaire, the ‘Mister Ninety-nine Per Cent’ munitions expert from the ABC, be freelanced in to make it as spectacular and as safe as possible. I told everyone, ‘I’ll only work with Aaron, boys, nobody else. Because he’s funny and he has ten fingers.’ We stole a lady’s crappy old car (thanks to her mum giving us the keys)

I will write a manual.’ So I wrote Australia’s first and only narrative comedy writing manual. I entitled the book The Cheeky Monkey to underpin the primal nature of comedy. (We may use witty wordplay, but it’s the lower parts of our brains that trigger the involuntary laughter mechanism.) The manual is an argument as much as a toolkit. My contrarian polemic was now in print and, happily, a bestseller. The first grand principle of comedy is to surprise the audience with a truth they recognise.

the defining moments in my life I’d have called them mad. But life is like that; one decision can take you places, introduce you to people and change everything. George Bernard Shaw said, ‘Life isn’t about finding yourself. It is about creating yourself.’ Smart man. That is what I will keep doing. My taste for trouble will never disappear and to keep things interesting and carry on the tradition of ‘keeping the bastards honest’, or at least ridiculing some of the outlandish statements made in the

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